30 April 2010
By Neelam Sharma
VEN as the number of HIV cases are increasing at a lower rate in the recent years, it is the deaths related to full–blown cases that are now a cause of concern.
While the figure of deceased touched an all time high of 115 last year, this year, four
persons have succumbed to the virus in three months.
According to the figures of the state AIDS Control Society, 97 died in city hospitals in 2008 while the figure touched 114 in 2007. While the Health authorities say the overall numbers are on a decline in terms of percentage of new cases detected in screening, the HIV cases are
now causing fatalities.
“The overall trend in the entire country has stabilised. However, deaths related to the disease are rising,” said Dr Vanita Gupta, project director of the state AIDS Control Society. Another reason, experts said, is the fact that the bulk of cases under treatment are outstation patients from
neighbouring states, who land in UT hospitals at an advanced stage.
“Barely six percent of cases hail from Chandigarh.
Rest are from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and other neighbouring states,” said officials. The hospitals records show detection of HIV positive cases has gone down to
five per cent in 2009, from as high as 12 per cent in 2006 and eight percent in 2007.
Community care facilities
Chandigarh has a community care centre for HIV positive patients at Khuda Ali Sher, which can accommodate 20 patients. Officials, however, say these facilities are not being fully utilised, as even 20 beds at the centre do not find occupants.
“Earlier, we had plans to have another centre in the city. But going by the response for the already existing centre and the overall statistics, the plan was dropped by the National AIDS control society (NACO),” said an official.
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